Purdue and TSMC, the world's largest semiconductor manufacturer, collaborate to research secured microelectronics ecosystem

Purdue University and the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) jointly announced plans Friday (June 14) to establish a Center for Secured Microelectronics Ecosystem aimed at ensuring a secure supply of semiconductor chips and related tools all the way from the foundry to the packaged system.

TSMC, located in Hsinchu Science Park, Taiwan, is the world’s largest semiconductor contract manufacturer, and Purdue University officials reached an agreement in Washington, D.C., during the Select USA Conference.

The center, to be located at the Purdue University West Lafayette campus in collaboration with Purdue Research Foundation, will perform research to ensure a secure ecosystem for the manufacture of microelectronics systems.

“Semiconductors will continue to be the enabling backbone for technological and economic growth in the 21st century, propelling advancements in the internet of things, autonomous transportation, artificial intelligence, advanced manufacturing, and many other applications,” U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said. “We are pleased that TSMC and Purdue University took their partnership to the next level at SelectUSA — a platform for leading global semiconductor manufacturers to continue expanding and investing in the United States. Under President Trump’s leadership, the administration will continue doing all it can to grow and equip our highly skilled workforce, maintain our competitive investment and regulatory environment, and support world-class American research universities.”

Purdue University is ranked 12th among worldwide universities granted U.S. utility patents for 2018 in the annual rankings put out by the National Academy of Inventors and the Intellectual Property Owners Association.   

“This agreement solidifies a vital global partnership for Purdue and enables our leading researchers to further advance their discoveries in microelectronics,” Purdue University President Mitch Daniels said. “TSMC’s commitment is only the beginning of what we believe will be an internationally significant initiative.”

The Purdue School of Electrical and Computer Engineering has about 10 faculty members currently collaborating with TSMC at various levels of research.

“TSMC is pleased to have this opportunity to support Purdue’s world-class technology research,” said H.S. Philip Wong, vice president of corporate research at TSMC. “As everyone’s trusted foundry, TSMC believes it would be beneficial to contribute to the development of a secure electronics ecosystem.”

The Purdue School of Electrical and Computer Engineering will lead the research and development in conjunction with TSMC.

“We are truly excited about this opportunity to significantly broaden and deepen the important partnership with TSMC. We anticipate the new center will begin operations at the beginning of the new academic year. At the start, we will focus on developing a secure microelectronics ecosystem,” said Mung Chiang, Purdue’s John A. Edwardson Dean of the Purdue College of Engineering. “We also anticipate that the partnership will grow in the next couple of years to include multiple U.S. universities.”

In February, the Semiconductor Industry Association reported that the global semiconductor industry posted sales of $468.8 billion in 2018, the industry’s highest-ever annual total, and an increase of 13.7 percent compared with the previous year.

“This industry is one of the most important for our global economy and security,” said Chad Pittman, vice president of the Purdue Research Foundation National Security and Defense Program Office and Government Relations. “The strengths in research and development of Purdue and TSMC will help support and advance this critical industry on multiple levels and help secure the ever-advancing microelectronics technology.”   

The agreement also allows TSMC to help facilitate access to multi-project wafer shuttle runs to test the effectiveness of the proposed research and to assign representatives on the advisory board of the center to mentor specific projects.

Source: Purdue News Room